Director Gregory Doran's intense production for the intimate setting of the Swan's thrust stage brought the passion and politics of this tragic love story up close to the audience.
Stephen Brimson-Lewis's elegant and uncluttered set design featured a relief-map of the ancient world set into the wide white brick wall at the back. The minimal set enabled the storytelling to dominate and allowed the scenes to flow smoothly into each other across the stage.
Patrick Stewart's Antony was a fuzzy-haired old soldier perfectly happy among his army comrades and full of resentment towards John Hopkin's simmering neurotic Octavius Caesar.
Harriet Walter's agile and dynamic Cleopatra initially appeared in the classic Cleopatra wig, only to whip it off shortly after as a statement about showing her true self. With no need for a wig, this intelligent Cleopatra quickly enchanted her fawning Antony and the intimate setting of the Swan's thrust stage brought both the passion and the politics up close to the audience.
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